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Masaru Aoki (青木 勝)Birthday: September 9, 1971
Homeland: Tokyo, Japan
Occupation: Chuuka Soba chef
Weight class: Lightweight
Height: 171 cm (5'7")
Reach: 171 cm (67")
Style: Unorthodox boxing style
Stance: Orthodox Stance
Current affiliation: Kamogawa Boxing Gym
He is an unorthodox lightweight boxer and one of the core members of the Kamogawa Boxing Gym. He, along with Kimura Tatsuya, are known to have been scouted into boxing by Takamura Mamoru, an individual they swore to defeat but eventually came to admire.
Aoki was a punk from his childhood up through high school, at which point he encountered, fought and got beat down by Takamura Mamoru (who was then a middleweight with two wins under his belt). This loss motivated him to quit school along with his close friend Kimura Tetsuya to become boxers at Kamogawa gym. Although their initial goal was to land a clean hit on Takamura, they grew to love boxing and develop their own skills. Aoki became a clownish boxer whose signature techniques, the Frog Punch and Look-Away, eventually led him to a draw in a Japanese title match with then-champion Imae Katsuka. Currently in the series, Aoki had a going rivalry with Papaya Dachiu, the lightweight champion of the Philippnes, with whom he has drawn two consecutive matches.
In a flashback shown in the series, Aoki is known for his troubled school life as a delinquent. He, along with long-time friend Kimura, were known to participate in countless fights and brawls with 'rival' schools. Throughout the series Aoki has shown a rather playful, immature, and mischievous personality- an attitude he reflects in his boxing matches where (due to his comparatively unexceptional boxing skills) he constantly thinks of methods to to deceive, confuse, or even ridicule opponents to a certain extent. A very long-running gag is that Aoki keeps revealing impressing talents, that sadly have no connection with boxing. Another one involves his girlfriend's friendship with Kumi that has made made contacting her far more easy than Ippo could ever hope, so Aoki often helps him out. His prankster personality extends to his own teammates and is most notably reflected in his attitude towards Makunouchi Ippo and (at times) Takamura Mamoru. Together with Kimura he is paired into the Aokimura duo by Itagaki Manabu.
Aoki's taste in women is seen as a running joke in the Hajime no Ippo series where, in contrast to the tastes of his gym mates, Aoki places his preferences in women considered 'ugly' by everyone else. This may be due to an incident where he was cruelly dumped by a beautiful girl, psychologically turning him to prefer uglier girls. Even though he may have a taste for "ugly" girls, he is able to hold a girlfriend, Tomiko, longer then any of the other guys with the exception of Ippo but it remains to be seen if he and Kumi will ultimately be together.
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